After two bone-dry years that sank the U.S. Southwest deeper into drought, this summer’s rainy season unleashed with fury.

Monsoon storms have brought spectacular lightning shows, bounties of wildflowers and mushrooms, and record rainfall to the region’s deserts. They’ve also brought destruction, flooding streets and homes, and leading to some swift water rescues and several deaths.

Angela Gervasi KNAU

Flood watches have been issued for all of Arizona, including metro Phoenix and Tucson, effective from late Tuesday morning until late Wednesday evening.

Increasing tropical moisture will produce showers and thunderstorms capable of producing heavy rainfall, with the threat increasing Tuesday afternoon and continuing into Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

Ryan Heinsius / KNAU

Flood watches have been issued for all of Arizona through Wednesday as increasing tropical moisture is expected to produce showers that could create heavy rainfall.

Morning Rundown: Tuesday, Aug. 10

Aug 10, 2021

It's Tuesday, Aug. 10. The Dept. of Health Services reported 2,582 COVID-19 cases statewide this morning, along with 12 related deaths. The state has documented more than 2,000 daily cases every day for the past week. 

Heat returns to the region as the monsoon takes a break. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for low elevation deserts, including metro Phoenix where temperatures are expected to range between 110-113 degrees over the next few days. The Salvation Army and municipal governments have activated heat relief stations in the greater Phoenix area. In central and northern Arizona, Lake Havasu City is expected to reach 114 degrees, Kingman and the Camp Verde area near 106, 100 for Page, 97 for Tuba City, 101 for Sedona and 87 for Flagstaff.

Southern Utah University

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office says a 43-year-old woman drowned in a flash flood Saturday in a side canyon of Lake Powell. Authorities responded to Labyrinth Canyon after receiving information about a possible drowning. The victim, Heather Rutledge of Louisville, Kentucky, was hiking in the slot canyon with her husband and three sons Saturday afternoon when they were caught in a flash flood. Her family was able to locate her and perform CPR, which was unsuccessful.

Navajo County Emergency Management


An active monsoon season around northern Arizona in July brought five monthly rainfall records, officials said.

Last month, Show Low had 8.79 inches (22.33 centimeters) of rain although the city usually averages 2.35 inches (5.97 centimeters) in July, meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Flagstaff said.

KUYI Hopi Radio/Facebook

A Tribal spokesperson for Hopi’s First Mesa Consolidated Villages says monsoon activity led to a rise in water levels at the Polacca Wash this week, with particularly high water Thursday night. Louella Furcap says rainfall in Pinon and Low Mountain led to high runoff. Two roads on Hopi remained closed last night, according to KUYI Hopi Radio, including part of Route 60. The Hopi Emergency Relief Fund is seeking volunteers to fill more sandbags at the Hopi Tribal Housing Authority. Information is at 928-299-1992.  

KUYI Hopi Radio

Flooding has continued to impact the Hopi Nation with road closures and muddy conditions after a rise in monsoon activity. Tribal officials say affected villages include Moenkopi and Polacca, and that incident command teams are assessing windmills to ensure safe water hauling for residents.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Coconino County, effective now through Saturday at noon. Affected areas include the Grand Canyon, Kaibab Plateau, Mogollon Rim, Little Colorado River Valley, Marble and Glen Canyons, Oak Creek and Sycamore Canyon. Abundant monsoon moisture is expected to begin Friday morning, continuing through the day with widespread thunderstorms and heavy rainfall at times. Coconino County Emergency Management officials advise people to stay out of washes, streams and poor drainage areas.